APPT Sydney: Boxell turns back the clock to top day 1B

The stars will be out in force tomorrow for the final day one flight in the APPT Grand Final, and they'll be aiming to join the 68 players who survived day 1B of the 109 starters. The total field is at 190, with 119 players through to Friday's day two.

Starters on day 1B included many of the region's elite performers, including past APPT winners Simon Watt and Martin Rowe (last year's winner here in Sydney), ANZPT Sydney winner Paren Arzoomanian and Amanda De Cesare, who won the first series of Joe Hachem's reality television series The Poker Star. Hachem was on hand to keep an eye on his project player:

Watch APPT Sydney 09: Joe Hachem on

In-form Kiwi Phillip Willcocks, WSOP bracelet winner Brian Wilson, 2007 Aussie Millions fourth-place finisher Julius Colman, reigning Aussie Millions $100,000 Hold'em Challenge champ David Steicke, experienced campaigners Leo Boxell, Tino Lechich, Emanuel Seal plus young stars like Jay SEABEAST Kinkade, Kristian Lunardi, Aaron Benton, Michael Guzzardi and Brendon Rubie also suited up for day 1B.

The old master showed he still had a few tricks up his sleeve with 2000 Australasian champion Leo Boxell topping the count on 147,700, narrowly ahead of Tom Grigg (141,500), who won the Semi-Shootout Bounty title as part of the APPT Sydney preliminary schedule last week. Close behind that duo were fellow Aussies Joel Cohen (137,700) and Stewart Davidson (121,700).


Stack 'em up: Leo Boxell finished atop the chip count for day 1B in the APPT Grand Final

Other notables who'll return include Brendon Rubie (101,700), Phillip Willcocks (95,000), David Steicke (88,200), Jackie Glazier (45,900), Michael Guzzardi (45,900), Japan's Wooka Kim (39,000), Amanda De Cesare (38,900), Kristian Lunardi (38,800), PokerStars Qualifiers Aaron Benton (34,700), Letitia Rowlands (29,300) and Tino Lechich (28,900) and APPT Auckland winner Simon Watt (27,500). Two players from last year's APPT Grand Final final table - winner Martin Rowe (22,000) and six-place finisher Frank Saffioti (42,900) will also be back on Friday.

We'll return at 12.30pm tomorrow for day 1C of the APPT Grand Final, with the bulk of the Team Australia and Team Asia Pros in action, including 2005 WSOP Main Event winner Joe Hachem and 2007 APPT Grand Final winner Grant Levy.